…the horror, the terror, the recovery.

This escaped me and I do not understand how.  As a reader of several Swedish news sources, I do not understand the delay in reporting such a catastrophe in the era of the 24-hour news cycle.  I suppose, with things on a scale as grand as this, the media was simply performing its due diligence and not alerting the general public until it had thoroughly researched every fact before going to press.  Maybe this is the media’s correcting its behavior as it relates to all of the fake news stories it has been printing since The Angry Yam descended the escalator in Dump Towers and declared his intent to drive the world into the ground.  Or, perhaps, an agreement has been reached?  No news regarding the safety of human beings shall be dispersed to citizens until Our Dear Leader, Orange Foolius, informs us directly, preferably at a rally at an airport with only his most devout followers in attendance.

Imagine my emotional state when I discovered that my second country, the place that occupies my heart, the home to many of my dearest friends was attacked.  Attacked in a manner so violent, the newly sensible media thought about the general public for once and chose to withhold all reporting and publishing of photographs to keep us snowflakes from being triggered.

My friends, shaken to the core and traumatized so significantly, were unable to utilize Facebook’s safety check feature.  From what I have been able to ascertain, neither Kitten nor Blitz were able to access a cellphone signal on Friday night.  Their social media platforms were silent from early Friday evening until midday Saturday.  I can only deduce that PM Löfven is working in concert with the Tang Tyrant’s administration – withholding details until Our Dear Leader addresses his public first.  After all, we’re living in an America First era.

A friend of mine is an editor of a fairly large news outlet which provides news for expats in English in multiple countries in the EU.  It was only this morning that I managed to obtain two pictures of the damage to Sweden on Friday night.  I may be at risk of breaching trust but I understand the source of the photos has been thoroughly vetted and I fundamentally believe they must be shared with the general public.  I do not understand how and why the Short-Fingered Vulgarian is not allowing the New York Times or the Washington Post to print them. From a different source, I managed to obtain a copy of Kim Jong-un’s media management strategy guide which is circulating through the upper echelon of Our Dear Leader’s administration.  This will be shared at a later date, when my request for asylum has been granted.

I hasten to add, the images you are about to see are not appropriate for children.  If you find yourself easily agitated, you may want to stop reading at this point.  And, as I said on one of my social media platforms, when the Red Cross begins its text message drive for donations, please, please donate.  Sweden is a country of 10 million.  It has resources and a very strong social welfare system.  But, it will still need assistance from generous donors in order to appropriately distribute tools for clean up, medical services, water, etc…

snökuken Göteborg

snökuken Göteborg

snökuken Göteborg, recovery & clean up

snökuken Göteborg, recovery & clean up

Jag är Sverige för alltid.

America: The Greatest Show in the World

We Americans love a good show.  Little do we know that we are actually part of the show now.  Other people from around the world are watching our slow decline into a Third World nation.  While we are busy arguing about the “big issues” like abortion, gay marriage, and evolution; our roads are being unpaved, we are becoming poorer, and more stupid.  As the old Carl Sagan remarked in his book, Cosmos, we have more astrologists and psychics than astronomers.  And why wouldn’t we, after all, astronomy requires serious thinking?  Better to go with the gut feeling of an astrologist.

Just look at your newspaper, one-third of the newspaper is comprised of the sports pages these days!  In fact, there’s more sports coverage than foreign news coverage!  A whole page is devoted to a home run, while a suicide bomber in Afghanistan killing two Marines gets a paragraph.  Charlie Sheen’s Truth Tour gets more exposure than a top general in Iraq discussing rebuilding efforts.  The sad thing is we don’t realize that this is happening to us.  And if we do, we don’t seem to care as long as the circus continues and we are “pacified” with cheap trinkets from China or entertainment in the form of Snooki.  Never mind that Snooki got more money for giving a talk at Rutgers University than Nobel-Fucking-Prize-Winning-and-I-Got-A-Damned-Pulitzer-Too Toni Morrison!  How the hell did that happen?

Richard Hofstadter wrote a book entitled Anti-Intellectualism in American Life back in 1963.  If you haven’t read this book, I highly suggest you pick it up at your local public library.  That’s if you still have a public library!  In his book, Hofstadter laments the poor state of the American intellectual, and how he must contend with a rising tide of stupidity coming from his fellow countrymen.  That’s a paraphrase of course, and a pretty dumbed down version of things, but hopefully it’s easy enough for people to understand.

Anyhow, I’m off to plan my vacation trip to the Creation Museum, and maybe I’ll swing by Dollywood as well.

Danes in Afghanistan

When I first read that there were Danish soldiers fighting in Afghanistan I imagined them looking like the toy soldiers at Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen.  At first I didn’t believe that Denmark would send soldiers to Afghanistan, partly because Afghanistan is far away from Denmark, and secondly, what does Afghanistan have to do with Denmark?  I can understand the United States involvement in Afghanistan to a certain degree, with Osama bin Laden hanging out with the Taliban, the U.S. did have a hand to play at that table, but Denmark?

Maybe it’s the fact that I grew up in Skåne, Sweden, and often visited Denmark as a child, that I have some affinity for the Danish people and culture.  Skåne actually used to be part of Denmark at one time, and with the Øresund Bridge now linking Denmark with Sweden, the region and people are closer than ever.  It’s actually neat to see Danes speaking Danish with Swedes and Swedes speaking Swedish with Danes and both sets of people understanding each other.  My appreciation for Danish people is why I am so concerned with their involvement in Afghanistan.  I recognize that their membership in NATO means that they might feel an obligation to do their part for the treaty organization, but in the past such things usually meant a field hospital or a tent or two, not a contingent of combat troops fighting a grueling and exhausting ground campaign.

I first stumbled across this film when I read about it winning the grand prize at the Cannes’ International Critics Week.  Just like Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington’s documentary Restrepo, Janus Metz’s film Armadillo will leave you breathless, bruised and battered.  Armadillo “… follows a platoon of Danish soldiers on a six-month tour of Afghanistan in 2009.  An intimate, visually stunning account of both the horror and growing cynicism of modern warfare, the film premiered at the top of the box office in Denmark, provoking a national debate over government policy and the rules of engagement.”  I highly suggest you see the movie for yourself.